How the Facebook Comments Plugin Can Boost Traffic, Improve Discussion Quality on Your Site
Facebook’s Comments Plugin allows website administrators to add user commenting to any piece of content on their website. When this plugin is installed on your website or blog, visitors will be able to comment as their Facebook profile, any Facebook Page in which they have administration privileges or via a number of other identity logins.
Commenters can also choose to have their comments posted to their Facebook wall (profile or Page), and these will appear in the News Feed of their friends and fans, raising awareness and driving traffic back to the original website.
The plugin uses social relevance to determine the highest quality comments for each user, which are then ordered to show users the most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads. Comments that have been marked as spam by Facebook (or the moderator) are hidden from view.
The plugin offers numerous advantages for websites looking to add comments functionality to their platform, including:
- Familiarity/ease of use - Facebook’s commenting system is well-established and very familiar to its 800+ million users, which means new visitors to your site won’t struggle with (nor have to register to use) a comment system they don’t recognize. As such, they’re more likely to comment
- Cross-platform login support - users can login to the plugin with their Facebook, Yahoo!, AOL or Hotmail credentials
- Synced comments - users can choose to have their comments posted to their Facebook wall (or Page, depending on how they posted), and any Likes and comments made inside of Facebook will automatically sync with the comment on the originating website (and vice versa)
- Accountability - Facebook’s Comment Plugin does not allow anonymous comments. Because users are contributing under their real name (or Page), this significantly reduces the number of posts websites typically receive from spammers and trolls, and increases the likelihood that discussions will be courteous and civil
- Moderation - aside from Facebook’s internal spam filter system, further control is provided by a Facebook-hosted moderation dashboard
At the same time, sites should consider the features offered by other comments plugins, like Disqus and Intense Debate, that provide competing sets of services and don’t rely as heavily on Facebook. In some cases, you may decide that you don’t want comments centered around Facebook, like if you’re trying to preserve a sense of anonymity among your readers. We’ll discuss this more below.
Another note here is that some sites currently using the Comments Plugin have been experiencing bugs since it launched earlier this year. While we expect Facebook to continue to improve the product, you may expect issues in the near term.
This is an excerpt from our full article that details how to implement the Facebook Comments plugin on your website. Comprehensive coverage of all the social plugins is available at the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s guide to marketing and advertising on Facebook.